We’re only a few hours away from Garret Sparks’ 16th start of the season (and 16th of his young career). He’s never been a can’t-miss goaltending prospect, but Sparks’ career started off strong with a shutout victory over the Edmonton Oilers. Since then, his play has been up, down, and ultimately below average. Sparks carries an .897 SV% through 15 games played.
It might not be fair to expect a lot out of a 22-year old drafted in the seventh-round, but Sparks posted solid numbers in the OHL, ECHL and AHL before debuting this year. 15 games is not exactly a significant sample size, but the Leafs won’t have much more to go on before they have to make a decision on their goaltending situation this summer. Sparks is an RFA in just a few months, and while Jonathan Bernier has one more year remaining on his deal, I have a hard time believing that Toronto will want to run with this tandem next season.
That brings us to this week’s WWYDW question – what would you do with Garret Sparks?
Do you think that, despite the numbers, he’s earned an NHL job for next season? Do you think he’s best returned to the AHL for more seasoning (and how do you split the workload between him, Antoine Bibeau and Kasimir Kaskisuo)? Have you seen enough and are simply ready to walk away from Sparks altogether?
Let us know in the comments below. Whoever gets the most thumbs up gets to start in net on the Leafs’ upcoming roadtrip.